Reservation was meant to benefit the socially oppressed and subjugated sections of the society so that they will be able to rise up the social ladder and be able to compete with equal footing. However, I think the experiment lost track and got derailed; perhaps, due to Mandal commission which made the dominant sections of the intermediate caste, corner the benefits of the reservation policies. We have an absurd situation whereby, every electorally dominant community is trying to gate crash to usurp the benefits which were meant to be for truly socially deprived sections of the society. The result is that the truly deprived sections of the society continue to get abused and exploited in the rural hinterland, by the very same dominant sections who themselves are clamouring to get themselves included as socially deprived. What is tragic is that the anger against reservation is targeted against SC/ST is getting explicit then against the so called BC/OBC/SBC etc. here has to have some affirmative action for economically deprived classes. What is more tragic is that reservation systems are enjoyed by those belonging to SC/ST/OBC etc. for generations in their families even after they have become quite prosperous and can afford to sacrifice “reservation benefits”. There are rich leaders and others who still enjoy benefits under the reservation policy just because they belong to one caste or the other.
Reservation was meant to be only a tool but the politicians have made it a sort of final destination. Instead of focusing on providing quality education at the school level, they are “short-circuiting” the higher education and government jobs with reservation. This is the real reason for the great mess.
The solution lies in saying that “enough is enough” and we should stop these politicians from tinkering with the “reservation policy”, year after year and especially on the eve of elections. I don’t understand when our government will do away with these outdated reservation policy altogether and when our politicians will stop appeasing the certain sections of the community in the name of reservation. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi had removed “LPG Subsidy” for those who are earning above Rs 10 lakhs per annum, stating that they are well off and can afford to forego subsidies. Why not, on the same parameter, apply reservation system — those earning more than Rs 10 lakhs should not come under any reservation category and enjoy the benefits of the reservation policy.
Today only merit should be counted. What is needed today is “reservation policy based on economic status”. Abolish caste or class or creed or community based reservation altogether. Remove reservations. It’s now or never.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)